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First Congregational Church

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1859–1860, John Stevens. 322 Main St.
  • First Congregational Church (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

An excellent example of the midcentury use of Romanesque architecture as an inspiration for American buildings, the First Congregational Church is a well-preserved work of a prolific church architect from Boston. With round arches, wall buttresses, and corbel tables beneath its cornices, the church design synthesizes Italian Lombard Romanesque and German Romanesque (Rundbogenstil) sources. The church was originally finished to simulate brownstone: its tongue-and-groove siding was beaded to resemble stone courses and it was stained brown. Inside, the sanctuary remains virtually intact. The First Congregational Church was established in 1642, leading to the incorporation of the town of Woburn one month later.

Writing Credits

Maureen Meister


What's Nearby


Maureen Meister, "First Congregational Church", [Woburn, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 418-418.

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